Migraine Symptoms

Headache Education > Migraine Headaches > Symptoms

The most common symptoms of migraine headaches include throbbing or pulsating pain that is unilateral (one sided). Migraine patients usually experience nausea, sometimes with vomiting. Other symptoms include sensitivity to light, noise, or smells; runny nose or sinus stuffiness, changes in vision, and neck pain. Please note, however, that most migraine patients do not have all or even most of these symptoms. If your headaches are every severe and you have even one associated symptom of migraine listed above, then you probably have migraines. Using iHeadache and answering the symptom questions during at least some of your more severe headache can assist your provider in determining your headache type.

Additionally, sufferers of classic migraine experience a temporary neurological symptom called an aura. The aura is often visual disturbance, involving geometric shapes that slowly expand and move, but can also be numbness, weakness, or speech difficulty. The aura does not occur with common migraines. Some patients experience multiple auras. The aura develops over several minutes but does not usually last longer than an hour.

This educational content was written by Brian D. Loftus, MD, a neurologist, headache specialist and developer of iHeadache. The science and study of headaces is changing rapidly. If there is information on this page that is incorrect or needs revision, please contact us.

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